By the time Donny Hathaway played the Troubadour in Hollywood and The Bitter End in New York in 1971, the singer-producer was already on his way to joining Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder in the pantheon of soul giants. On the recordings taken from those shows, he offers stellar versions of Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” but it’s on “You’ve Got a Friend” that he and his baritone truly shine: Hathaway plays the role of conductor, and between his rich organ loop and the fans’ lively shouts, the proceedings feel more like church, a vibe the former choir singer likely embraced.

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